Living in Society

Beginning a Summer

Plot #7 drying on May 28, 2021.

167.7 million Americans have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. That’s 50.5 percent of the total population, according to this morning’s Washington Post. Society is loosening a bit, although when I went shopping last week, most people were wearing face masks in the store.

My sister-in-law came for a visit on Friday, the first time the two sisters spent time together, in person, since the pandemic began. A return to doing certain things has a trajectory of its own. People feel comfortable being together without a significant risk of dying or getting sick. COVID-19 may be lurking in the background, but being vaccinated, we feel okay forgetting about it for a while.

This summer will be a time of re-making how our small family lives. The Memorial Day weekend traditionally, unofficially, kicks off summer, so this post is some thoughts about what is next.

During the coronavirus pandemic we paid off our debt and improved retained earnings on our balance sheet by 12 percent. The pension structure we planned, with Social Security and Medicare at its core, will serve us well for the next 10-13 years. If the Congress does not address the projected shortfall after 2034, our pensions could be reduced. Developing a plan to deal with this possibility is in the mix of priorities, yet not high on the list.

I have little desire to be a wage earner again. I do seek some supplemental income aligned with my interests. No hurry here as we are getting along for the time being.

We’ve been blessed with reasonably good health. Improved diet and daily exercise are both important. So are regular visits to the doctor.

The pandemic changed our transportation needs. Our 1997 and 2002 automobiles need upgrading to a single, newer one with appropriate range to meet our lifestyle. The move will likely be to an electric vehicle, a new one. The question of hauling stuff like bales of straw, garden supplies and home improvement materials remains to be addressed.

This blog changed into something else during the pandemic. I welcome whatever changes are needed to make it relevant going forward. My morning habits have become ingrained. It’s hard to imagine starting each day differently from the way developed during the last 15 months.

Big projects. It became clear that I can work on only one big project at a time, whether it is right-sizing number of possessions, writing, gardening, preparing the house for our aging, or whatever. An air traffic controller can land only one plane at a time and so it is for us. This brings clarity and focus.

Finally, having an active, healthy mind is important. Some things we can’t control, yet a life of engagement in society can maximize use of our critical thinking capabilities… as long as we don’t begin tuning into FOX News. Reading the newspaper and linked articles on Twitter is part of this. Engaging in politics, social justice, and the climate crisis is another. It goes without saying that being supportive of our small family is also important to mental health.

There’s a clear path to finishing the initial garden planting today. My garden work is one of the few things that hasn’t changed because of the pandemic. Let’s hope that remains so going forward.